Archives for November 2023

Tools Every Gardener Should Have at Home

Even if you hire a professional to keep your garden, flowerbeds or lawn in pristine condition, there are times when you may want or need to do some tasks yourself. There are some basic tools that every homeowner should have at their disposal. If you don’t have them, now is the time to begin working them into your budget for spring time. Some tools can be expensive, depending on the brand and design.

Garden Fork

They’re excellent for digging into dense soil. Forks with a slight curve to the tines also makes it easy to turn compost piles or scoop mulch.

Garden Hose

This is essential for watering plants. You’re going to need an adjustable nozzle attachment, along with a spray wand to gently water delicate plants.


Not only will gloves minimize blisters, they’re also effective for preventing splinters and injuries from thorns and sharp leaves. They should be durable and allow freedom of movement. Gloves help prevent soil-borne infections.

Hand Trowel

This is essential for planting or transplanting. A slim blade is best for digging up weeds, while a wider blade works best for installing plants.


A hoe with a wider blade can be more effective for working in a vegetable garden. A hoe with a thinner blade is best for working around delicate plants that don’t like to be disturbed. Hoes can create rows for planting or cutting/digging up weeds.


The long-handled shears are used to prune woody growth of bushes, vines and trees.

Pruning Shears

These are essential for reigning in plants that are overgrowing their allotted space.


Choose a garden rake for lawn debris or a leaf rake for moving leaves.


A round-point shovel can cut through compacted soil. A square-point shovel is handy for scooping dirt or scraping weeds from paths or walkways.


The square shovels have short handles and are very effective at moving dirt, digging holes or lifting sod.

Watering Can

This is invaluable for transporting water to plants that can’t be reached with a hose. They’re offered in metal and plastic styles.


This is the essential tool for transporting plants, bags of fertilizer, soil and any other material around your property. They’re available in plastic and metal models.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate


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Fruita author and landscaper renowned for work on crevice gardens

Are My Trees at Risk for Citrus Greening Disease?

The Florida citrus industry has been under attack by one of the most serious bacterial infections in the world – citrus greening disease. Homeowners with citrus trees in their landscape should be aware that their trees are also at risk. The disease is spread by tiny insects called psyllids. The disease is not contagious to people or pets.

About the Disease

The systemic disease affects all parts of a tree, from fruits to roots. It impacts all citrus varieties encompassing tangerines, kumquats, lemons and limes, oranges, and grapefruits. Some ornamental plants and bushes are also at risk, representing about 2,070 species. It includes trees, woody shrubs such as boxwood and orange jasmine, and a few types of herbaceous perennials.

Citrus greening disease occurs around the world. It’s particularly prevalent in locations such as South Florida that has a warm, subtropical climate.

Signs and Symptoms

You may see psyllids, evidence of their waxy droppings, or eggs. Fruits may appear lopsided, be hard, have a bitter flavor, and contain dark seeds. Affected fruits may remain green, even after ripening and leaves display blotchy spots. Other indications include:

  • Yellow shoots
  • Twig dieback
  • Stunted or sparse foliage
  • Trees and bushes may bloom out of season

There is No Cure

If you suspect your trees or bushes are infected, the best solution is to call a specialist. A landscaping expert will be ablet o make a definitive diagnosis. There is no cure for citrus greening disease. Once a planting has been infected, it will continue to deteriorate. It’s vitally important to remove any plantings that are affected.

The Impact

The bacterial disease has hit the Florida orange industry particularly hard, leading to record high prices on fresh citrus fruit and juices. The disease is a major factor in reduced production, but other elements are also in play. They include hurricanes, trees that aren’t adaptable to adverse weather conditions, and other diseases. The same factors that are influencing commercial growers can affect homeowners that just want to grow a citrus tree or two in their back yard.

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Safe Ways to Discourage Defecating Dogs

Dogs have to be walked, but when the feces can ruin your lawn. Defecating dogs and inconsiderate humans continue to plague South Florida homeowners. It’s an ongoing problem and one that can discolor lawns, kill grass, and damage expensive landscapes. There are some safe and simple measures that you can take to aid in alleviating the problem.

How Dog Feces Affect Your Lawn

South Florida residents are proud of their lush, green lawns and work hard to maintain them. The nitrogen in dog feces causes lawn discoloration. Dogs will return to where they’ve previously relieved themselves. Feces in the same spot kills grass.

Fungi and Disease

Multiple types of fungi can grow where a dog relieves themselves. Some of those fungi are capable of spreading throughout the lawn. The fungi flourishes in environments rich in nitrogen and moisture from rain or high humidity levels. Dog waste can also carry bacteria, fungal, viral, and parasitic organisms that can be transmitted to humans.

Ways to Discourage Dogs

If you know who the culprit is, try speaking to them. Be calm and respectful. They may not realize or understand the damage being done. If that doesn’t yield results, you can try the following:

  • Use a scent repellent along your border such as vinegar, citrus or citronella- lavender plants are also a good repellent
  • Activate the sprinkler system
  • Keep the yard clean
  • Install signs and a motion sensor camera
  • Create a barrier by installing a fence

Bags and Receptacles

Many neighborhoods have installed pet waste disposal stations that provide bags for people to clean up after their canine, along with a receptacle to dispose of the waste. It eliminates the “I forgot a bag” excuse.

Be Prepared for Pushback

Pet owners are intensely loyal to their animals and will often defend against their activities, even when they know cleaning up after their canine is the right thing to do. If you can’t come to an equitable arrangement with your neighbor, the solution of last resort is to seek legal intervention.

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Outdoor Decorating and Etiquette for the Holidays

Tis the season for holiday decorating and that extends to outside plantings. There are some dos and don’ts of decorating plants that should be observed, along with etiquette that won’t start a feud with your neighbors.

Lights On Plants

Holiday lighting that remains cool to the touch is generally safe for plantings, whether it a tree or bush, but don’t use lights designated for indoor use outside. For delicate plants, try to limit the amount of light they receive. It’s never a good idea to string heavy lights on a young tree as it can damage limbs and buds.

A popular adornment is net lighting that can be draped over a bush.

Some ornamentation can be difficult to install and you may be tempted to leave it up year-round to avoid the hassle next year. Don’t given in to temptation. The cords on light strands can result in girdling on tree trunks that expand in size each year.

Decorating Etiquette

Holiday decorating has moved from the realm of restraint to productions worthy of a large budget Hollywood spectaculars. Dozens of people are featured on social media each year for their elaborate designs, lighting synchronized to music, and range of inflatables.

Illumination and Traffic

The glow from that many lights can be extremely annoying to neighbors, especially those of school age children. It can also result in an unwelcome and unsafe increase in traffic as people come to view the presentation.

Observe the Rules

Some homeowner’s association (HOAs) have very strict rules about the types of decoration that can be installed. All homeowners are well advised to check local ordinances to see if there are any restrictions.

Even more important, if you intend to have an elaborate holiday display, it’s a good idea to talk with neighbors first. Even if there are no ordinances against the display of your dreams, your neighbors may not appreciate it or be understanding. Be sure and turn it off at a reasonable time.

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